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Tower reactors for bioconversion of lignocellulosic material

United States Patent

5,888,806
March 30, 1999
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
National Renewable Energy Laboratory - Visit the NREL Technology Transfer Website
An apparatus for enzymatic hydrolysis and fermentation of pretreated lignocellulosic material, in the form of a tower bioreactor, having mixers to achieve intermittent mixing of the material. Precise mixing of the material is important for effective heat and mass transfer requirements without damaging or denaturing the enzymes or fermenting microorganisms. The pretreated material, generally in the form of a slurry, is pumped through the bioreactor, either upwards or downwards, and is mixed periodically as it passes through the mixing zones where the mixers are located. For a thin slurry, alternate mixing can be achieved by a pumping loop which also serves as a heat transfer device. Additional heat transfer takes place through the reactor heat transfer jackets.
Nguyen; Quang A. (Golden, CO)
08/ 878,037
June 18, 1997
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC36-83CH10093 awarded by the Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.